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franc

[frangk; French frahn] /fræŋk; French frɑ̃/
noun, plural francs
[frangks; French frahn] /fræŋks; French frɑ̃/ (Show IPA)
1.
an aluminum or nickel coin and monetary unit of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg until the euro was adopted, equal to 100 centimes.
Abbreviation: F., f., Fr, fr.
2.
any of the monetary units of various other nations and territories, as Liechtenstein, Martinique, Senegal, Switzerland, and Tahiti, equal to 100 centimes.
3.
a former silver coin of France, first issued under Henry III.
4.
a former monetary unit of Algeria, Guinea, and Morocco.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English frank < Old French franc, so called because the coin was first inscribed with the name of the king as Medieval Latin Rēx Francōrum King of the Franks
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for franc
  • Pus could not yet be seen under the skin, but this was already thickened and red over a surface the size of a franc.
  • It could be because cabernet franc, or cab franc as it is often called, is not the easiest wine to get to know.
British Dictionary definitions for franc

franc

/fræŋk; French frɑ̃/
noun
1.
Also called French franc. the former standard monetary unit of France, most French dependencies, Andorra, and Monaco, divided into 100 centimes; replaced by the euro in 2002
2.
the former standard monetary unit of Belgium (Belgian franc) and Luxembourg (Luxembourg franc), divided into 100 centimes; replaced by the euro in 2002
3.
Also called Swiss franc. the standard monetary unit of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, divided into 100 centimes
4.
Also called franc CFA, CFA franc, franc of the African financial community. the standard monetary unit, comprising 100 centimes, of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo
5.
the standard monetary unit of Burundi (Burundi franc), Comoros (Comorian franc), Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaïre; Congolese franc), Djibouti (Djibouti franc), Guinea (Guinea franc), Madagascar (franc malgache), Rwanda (Rwanda franc), and French Polynesia and New Caledonia (French Pacific franc)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for franc
n.

French coin, late 14c., from Medieval Latin Francorum Rex "King of the Franks," inscribed on gold coins first made during the reign of Jean le Bon (1350-64). An official monetary unit of France from 1795.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for franc

originally a French coin but now the monetary unit of a number of countries, notably Switzerland, most French and former Belgian overseas territories, and some African states; at one time it was also the currency of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The name was first applied to a gold coin minted by King John II of France in 1360, which bore on one face the Latin legend Johannes Dei gratia Francorum rex ("John, by the grace of God, king of the Franks"). Because this coin also carried the figure of the king on horseback, it was known as the franc a cheval to distinguish it from another coin of the same value later issued by Charles V of France. This latter coin was called the franc a pied because it showed the monarch on foot standing under a canopy. During the 17th century the minting of gold francs ceased, but the name was freely applied by the French public to the new unit of exchange-the livre tournois, a gold coin subdivided into 20 sols. In 1795, to symbolize the political changes that followed the French Revolution, the republican government introduced a new franc currency. The first coin was a five-franc silver piece; gold coins worth 20 francs (napoleons) were coined in quantity later. The livre tournois, which was exchangeable into the new currency at a rate of 81 livres to 80 francs, continued to circulate in France until 1834.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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